Best car for ERE

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Lucky C
Posts: 528
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:09 am

Re: Best car for ERE

Post by Lucky C »

Another vote for Honda Civic. I used to have the hybrid, and they extended the hybrid battery warranty so that when mine needed replacement it got one free of charge. Didn't start having any real issues until around 150k miles at which point I splurged on a newer Civic, only a couple years old used model. This time it's not a hybrid, but since it has been made more aerodynamic and efficient over the years, it gets almost the same gas mileage.

davtheram12
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: Best car for ERE

Post by davtheram12 »

what would you consider an appropriate toolset for home car maintenance? I've seen people use anything from scissor jack + tire iron to engine hoists + two-post lift to full machine shops with overhead hoists, attached composites shop, etc. Maybe the question should instead be "what repair would you refuse to attempt?
@basuragomi

Sclass has a great response that pretty much summarizes what I would have said. I DO NOT recommend using any type of scissor jack as they are known to fail leading to serious injury or death. Decent floor jacks ranging from 1.5 TONS to 3 TONS can be had for $30-$150. At least two jack stands are also recommended as another way to prevent the car from falling.

In the past I would have likely avoided doing some of the more intricate work like engine rebuilds, transmission rebuilds, body work but Youtube has made all of those things far less scary. Would I do those things on my daily driver? Likely not since most vehicles, when serviced properly, wouldn't require it. But as for most maintenance requirements like fluid changes, brake changes, filter changes, tire rotations, belt changes and light bulb changes they are all fairly simple. Beginners might find it scary to initially attempt but there are many resources today that make it far easier today than ever before. Happy wrenching :P

davtheram12
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: Best car for ERE

Post by davtheram12 »

Alphaville wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:53 pm
No car!
Anyway, definitely no car for me and here's hoping more people can be car-free as well.
I appreciate your response and hope one day to be there too. When I first discovered ERE through MMM (mid 2015) I went full force with car free living for about 1.5 years. I cancelled my car insurance, put the car on NON-OP, bought a new bicycle and gave it a shot.

I bike commuted to and from work (totaling 500 miles a month), used bike racks and carrier bags for grocery halls, did things locally to avoid the use of a car, and on rare occasions would use UBER/LYFT when I needed to leave town. I absolutely loved it! I felt better, lost unnecessary fat that I had managed to gain, developed a serious appreciation for all types of weather and saved money.

But it came at a cost, I was eventually hit by a car on my way home from work one night. Although I was using the crosswalk and had the right of way, a driver 'needed' to make his turn and knocked me off my bike. I managed to avoid serious injury but the bike was totaled. I had many other close calls with other drivers but managed to avoid those accidents after I began riding more defensively. So now, while I am still working full-time and saving for ERE, I mix bike commuting with occasional car commuting. When I do eventually retire I will give car-free living another chance.

TopHatFox
Posts: 2093
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:07 pm
Location: FL; 25

Re: Best car for ERE

Post by TopHatFox »

Oo, apparently the Toyota Corolla comes in hatchback form

Alphaville
Posts: 489
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Walkscore 92, Bikescore 93

Re: Best car for ERE

Post by Alphaville »

davtheram12 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:39 pm

But it came at a cost, I was eventually hit by a car on my way home from work one night. Although I was using the crosswalk and had the right of way, a driver 'needed' to make his turn and knocked me off my bike. I managed to avoid serious injury but the bike was totaled. I had many other close calls with other drivers but managed to avoid those accidents after I began riding more defensively. So now, while I am still working full-time and saving for ERE, I mix bike commuting with occasional car commuting. When I do eventually retire I will give car-free living another chance.
I always hear about these mythical car crashes, and have read about some horrible ones in the news, but I’ve been riding bicycles since I was... 5? and now in the throes of middle age, I’ve never had a bicycle accident that involved cars. It used to be me riding without hands, that sort of thing, as a teenager.

On the other hand, I’ve been in multiple car crashes and fender benders, some horrible, and I see wrecks all the time.

Maybe it helps that I consider all drivers a-holes by default and have zero trust in them. So I bicycle with extreme caution. I’m not above riding sidewalks at baby speed, or dismounting and walking. Whenever I encounter pedestrians I get off the bike and walk along them. I avoid heavy traffic and will take the long calm road.

These days I also wear crazy bright & reflective clothes, use daytime running lights that would blind you at close range, and I’m always giving hand signals in traffic (left turn, right turn, stop, a wave to pass me, middle finger for the jerks...). I’m actively communicative and never trust that a driver has seen me until I get the wave or nod.

I try to never be in a hurry because that’s what invites recklesness.

And yes the jerks who pretend they don’t see you and deny you the right of way are always there. But I consider that a given. Zero trust.

My current location is in a very car-centric city and state, but my particular neighborhood is well suited for cycling and walking and I can do pretty much everything within a 5-mile radius. There are some bike paths that come handy, and with bicycle-friendly transit options, I have a wide range.

davtheram12
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: Best car for ERE

Post by davtheram12 »

@Alphaville

Thanks for the response. I'll definitely consider everything you wrote. Lots of great advice and ideas I can implement right away. I still ride regularly but am much more cautious about it. I've had way too many close calls in my neighborhood and the thought of being ran over does worry me. But I will be smarter about how I approach it :geek:

white belt
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Best car for ERE

Post by white belt »

I drive a 2005 Pontiac Vibe. It's all of the reliability of a Toyota (the inner workings are identical to a Toyota Matrix), with a much lower price tag because it has a Pontiac badge. It is one of the most versatile cars I've ever seen since the back seats fold down, it can tow, and and it is tall (probably more cargo space than 90% of hatchbacks). I can fit my bicycle in the back with seats folded down, without having to remove any wheels. It's a manual but has cruise control, power windows, and power locks. It's just the right amount of car amenities I need. I did replace the stock radio with a newer one that is Bluetooth capable.

I bought the car at 120k miles and it's sitting at 160k almost 4 years later. I've kept a tally of everything I've spent on it in terms of repairs, maintenance, and depreciation:

Depreciation - $1500
Repairs/maintenance - $2000
Total cost - $3500
Annual cost - $875

In fact, I was just running these numbers because I think I'm gonna have about an $800 maintenance bill coming up and I'm trying to decide if it's worth trying to get a new car. I need new back wheels, engine mounts, front brakes, and clutch. Luckily I have a shop near me that allows me to provide all my own parts, so I only have to pay for labor. I used to DIY a lot of stuff before, but the more complex jobs are difficult when I'm also working full time.

If I get the above repairs done, it'll push my annual cost thus far to $1000. I think that's pretty good considering I'd like to keep this car for another 4 years and try to make it 200k miles, which these repairs should allow me to do barring some kind of catastrophic failure. I'd be curious to see what other people are paying annually for depreciation and repairs/maintenance.

Edit: Obviously I have 2 other major expenses and one minor expense related to a car that aren't included in that $1000 annual cost; insurance, gas, and registration. I'd estimate that including those would push me to a $2000 annual cost for car ownership.

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